FRC, Republicans Denounce 'Same-Sex Ceremony' on La. Army Base

Family Research Council and two Republican congressmen strongly condemned a recent same-sex "marriage-like" ceremony conducted for two female soldiers and performed by an Army chaplain at the Fort Polk base in Louisiana.

"This ceremony evades the intention and violates the spirit of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which remains the law in America, defining marriage as a union of one man and one woman for all purposes under federal law," FRC President Tony Perkins said in a statement Wednesday.

After repealing its "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy last year, the Defense Department said chaplains at military installations could officiate private ceremonies provided they do not violate state and local laws. Louisiana law does not recognize gay marriages or civil unions.

"The Obama administration is once again using the military as a vehicle to advance its social agenda which plainly includes tossing aside the marriage laws of forty-four states," said Perkins, a Marine Corps veteran and former Louisiana legislator.

The ceremony, held last month, proves "that Congress must act to adopt the current House of Representatives language in the Defense Authorization act to make very clear that the military should not be exploited to advance this administration's social agenda," Perkins added.

A Fort Polk spokesman told The Associated Press that everyone at the base chapel understood it was a commitment ceremony, not a marriage ceremony.

U.S. Rep. John Fleming, whose district includes Fort Polk, said in a statement that the ceremony shouldn't have been allowed "especially since the people of Louisiana have made it abundantly clear that our state does not recognize same-sex marriages or civil unions."

Also in opposition, U.S. Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) commented, "This appears to be a case where political agenda has trumped the rule of law, which is absolutely unacceptable."

Akin sponsored a measure last year that would ban the use of military installations to "officiate, solemnize or perform a marriage or marriage-like ceremony involving anything other than the union of one man with one woman." While the House approved the bill, the Senate did not.

"The Department of Defense is bowing to a political agenda to turn our nation's military into a social experiment," The Daily Caller quoted Ron Crews, executive director for the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, as saying. "It is time for the American public to say, 'Enough!'"

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